Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins

Title: Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy #3)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Release date: 29th April, 2014 (also known as MY BIRTHDAY, WOO!)
Source: HarperCollins via Edelweiss, thank you!

Average Goodreads rating: 4.61 out of 5.00 (440+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

It’s time.

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

Review by Chantelle

*Contains only VERY MINOR SPOILERS for the first two books in the trilogy, should be okay if you haven't read them*

HALLELUJAH IT'S HERE! (well, almost)

Sweet Reckoning is the third and final installment of 'The Sweet Trilogy', and it follows two books which, in my opinion, were absolutely incredible reads. Centred around Anna, an average teenager who discovers she is also Nephilim, this series mixes the best elements of both contemporary and paranormal genres, and the love interest, Kai, is SO SWOONY! Ahhh <3 <3 There's this fantastic bit with Kai and brownies in the second book that just... Kai is great, take my word for it.

Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy Sweet Reckoning very much... and it truly breaks my heart to say that so I've been very generous with my ratings. The crux of my criticism would have to be in the narrative tone, which I felt differed to the first two novels. The writing felt a lot more casual- Anna's narrative read more like a fun blog post than a novel. There were too many italic expressions- wow, needed, what? (staahhhpp!), too many ellipses... and the sentences were all so short, never giving me the chance to sink into the story. This was particularly damaging since it's not a full contemporary, and you need to be able to fully immerse yourself not just in Anna's life, but also in this new world where Nephilim live in fear of the Dukes. So I feel like the writing style hindered my reading experience, and didn't do the plot justice. The plot itself was quite over-dramatic, and while this was completely okay (and expected) for the main storyline where Anna needs to fulfil this impossible prophecy, it wasn't as okay in minor storylines- particularly one involving Marna- as they couldn't be explored enough and in general, felt like overkill.

That being said, I put my big-girl pants on and kept reading to the very end, and thankfully, it improved by a mile. While the aforementioned things prevented me from escalating to my optimum fan-girl mode, I liked how Wendy Higgins tied up her loose ends and I don't regret revisiting Anna, Kai, Ginger, Marna, Blake and Kope. They've got such an enjoyable 'friends against the world' dynamic, and of course, seeing their respective romances got me all gooey inside. The redeeming factor was the originality of this series- her unique twist on the biblical version of angels, the devils of the "deadly sins" and the doomed Nephilim made an interesting playground for exploring morality while still being a thoroughly guilty pleasure YA read.

I'd still highly recommend this series, although my favourite is still Sweet Peril.

Overall: 7/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 3/5
World Building: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5